Richmond. VA - anne'sVisual Art Studio proudly announces the Opening First Friday October 3rd of Lavish Beauty, new paintings by Anh-Van Truong with reception from 7-10PM. MEET THE ARTISTS FIRST FRIDAY OCTOBER 3RD: Anh-Van Truong, Chris Semtner, Gia Labidi, Elaine Bankston and Anne Hart Chay will be available for discussion at the Opening Reception October 3rd. Lavish Beauty will be on display through Friday December 19, 2014. Into the Void, new paintings by Chris Semtner can be seen until the exhibition closes Friday October 31st, Jamaica Bound, new hand-sewn mixed media textiles and sculptures by Norfolk's Orgia Labidi continues on display through Friday December 19th and Primitives From Life, paintings by Elaine Bankston continues through Friday October 31st in the Frank Hart Memorial Gallery (a.k.a. First Fridays Gallery).
Anh-Van Truong is a native of South-East Asia whose love of art became therapy for her following her escape from the communist regime in 1975 and eventual resettle in Canada then move to U.S.A. the next year. For more information please see her attached Biography or visit www.anhvantruong.com
Living through war can change a person’s life dramatically.
Many people can go through a downward mental spiral while others try to get by day by day.
A native of South-East Asia, Anh-Van Truong was born in Vietnam in 1952. She obtained her License-ès-Lettres (B.A.) in French literature at the University of Hue (VN) in 1974, and taught French literature in high school (VN), while preparing for her 3 year scholarship for graduate studies at the Sorbonne - Paris. She also took painting class at the Hue Academy of Fine Arts in 1971.
Unfortunately, when South Vietnam fell under the communist regime in 1975, her dreams were cut short: all her family properties were confiscated by the new government, her family members were scattered around the globe after that, and her scholarship for graduate studies at the Sorbonne was also gone with the wind.
As she took it day by day, step by step, she finally managed to escape the communist regime with her 3 younger brothers, by boat, and landed in the Philippines in 1981. During her stay in the Philippines refugee camp, she has put her language skills (French, English and Vietnamese) to a good cause: helping her country people to obtain better health care and support while waiting to be resettled in another country. She has since devoted her time and energy in working closely with the UNHCR personnel (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), the Philippines Government officials, the US Embassy and all other foreign delegations to help gather and translate all personal information, documents and applications related to the resettlement applications of some 4000 refugees in this camp.
In 1982 she was resettled in Canada, but moved to the USA the following year.
Again, step by step, day by day, she began building her life again, living, working, and traveling extensively throughout the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, and Asia.
However, after a serious illness, she reset her priorities to a job with less travel and settled down in Great Falls with her husband and three children.
While she felt like her life was in order again, she still could not shed the feeling that something was missing.
Then she pulled out an old canvas and paint set and began translating her thoughts through brushstrokes.
Painting became her new therapy for moving from the past into the future...
She has then studied with Joe Kabriel (Basic Drawing-Art League Torpedo Factory Art Center, Alexandria-Virginia, 2007); Jennifer Schoechle (Oil & Pastel, 2008), and Adrienne Kralick (portraits, Great Falls Center For the Art).
Anh says about her passion... "It seems that I always tried to search for an invisible paradise where I could grab and hold tightly in my hand with the nostalgia of a long time dead past: my lost home where I grew up with my parents and family for 22 years...Then when I finally set my first brush stroke and splash of color on the canvas, I realized that I finally found my way home again."
RESUME Vienna Art Center, VA Jennifer Schoechle’s Students Exhibition April 2009
CHRIS SEMTNER ARTIST STATEMENT
After reading a good poem, the world the reader sees seems changed, becoming somehow more profound and magical. In the same way, a good painting can change the way the viewer sees the otherwise overlooked elements of the world around him - imbuing the real world with a new sense of mystery and wonder. That is how I want people to feel after seeing my new exhibition, Into the Void. The first thing I drew was a face. Since then, I explored a range of content and themes in paint, but I finally came back to the subject of the face because it is both immediately relatable and strangely foreign. It is this element of strangeness which interests me - that idea of a face that is neither a portrait nor a character study but an architectural element. Instead of representing faces as we expect to see them, I wanted to show the head as part of an environment or atmosphere, as both an individual and an organ of a larger organism. But in depicting a human head, I do not want to lose sight of a head's weight, its mass, its flesh, bone and blood, so I scrape and layer paint to give the surface a sense of life and decay - as if the paint surface has lived and has a story to tell.
CHRIS SEMTNER BIOGRAPHY
The Curator of the Edgar Allen Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia, Chris Semtner has served as author, co-author, or editor of eight books on Edgar Allen Poe and recently appeared in the BBC 4 documentary Edgar Allen Poe: Love, Death and Women and the Military Channel program History: Facts vs. Fiction. His most recent book, Edgar Allen Poe's Richmond, has been nominated for a Library of Virginia Literary Award for Non-Fiction. His next book about the artwork of James Carling, will be released in October, 2014. Semtner has curated museum exhibits on Poe in the comics, Poe's mysterious death, the real women behind Poe's poetry, and Poe in the movies. The New York Times called the exhibit he curated for the Library of Virginia, Poe: Man, Myth, or Monster? "provocative," and "a playful, robust exhibit." An internationally exhibited artist, Semtner has seen his paintings enter numerous public and private collections, and his photography has appeared in The Washington Post, the Daily Telegraph, and many other publications. He has recently exhibited at Viktor Wynd Fine Art in London, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, and the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond.
Five rescue cats share their Bon Air, Virginia home with Semtner and his wife Tara. You can see more of his work at http://www.csemtner.com/ .
Frank Hart Memorial Gallery (a.k.a. First Fridays Gallery)
Jamaica Bound - Orgia (Gia) Labidi
"My work is more about the creative process and less about the finished pieces - the finale. I enjoy the creative process and I create art across several visual mediums utilizing wood and clay as the primary mediums, found objects, fabric and paint as tools. In working with wood and clay I usually have no plan. I've done no sketching. I have no idea how the piece will end. Each piece starts with a strong desire to do it, to make something happen, to say something or nothing at all. I manipulate the pieces pounding, pulling and pushing until I feel something - anything. I look to the materials, the hardwood and moist clay, to tell me what they want to be, how they want to come together. I love to see wood and clay take shape. It's as if the pieces of hardwood and moist clay are waiting for me to reveal what is hidden within--unique curves, smooth ends and secret places. There is something about the affect of sandpaper on wood and smooth stones on semi-moist clay that move me to state of primal clarity. Through the manipulation of these materials, I create art that celebrates life with a focus on the divine feminine in nature." http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150170054207485.309333.102999992484&type=1
ELAINE BANKSTON was born and raised on a farm in Missouri and is probably best know for her portraits in charcoal, pastel and oil but has developed many styles of work since her art career began more than 3 1/2 decades ago. Her most recent portrait of Oliver Hill hangs in the Oliver Hill Courts Building in Downtown Richmond. She has painted over 2,000 portraits and has won numerous awards and ribbons in various exhibitions. For more info: www.elainebankston.com
SAVE THE DATE ! ... Art2go, 15th Annual Artistic Gifts group exhibition of new mixed media small works opening reception November 7, 2014 from 7-10PM. Art2go is on display through Friday January 30, 2014.